- Verify all Buyers are financially qualified to purchase your home whether they are working with a Buyer’s Agent or representing themselves. Request a verification of funds statement if they are paying cash (a bank statement with all but the last four numbers of the account blacked out will suffice). If a Buyer intends to utilize a loan, request a copy of the pre-approval letter verifying the Buyer is financially qualified at or above list price. It is imperative the letter is signed by the lender as such letters are easy to create. If you receive a pre-approval letter that is unsigned, request the lender physically sign the letter and do not hesitate to contact the lender directly to verify authenticity. Time is money and your time is valuable.
- Create a flyer, bullet point summary or binder with details and photographs reflecting any renovations, remodeling or updates facilitated during time of ownership. The Buyer will appreciate the attention to detail and pride of ownership reflected therein and it will provide valuable insight to the appraiser when they evaluate the home.
- Create a shoe removal or footwear protection station. This is especially important during inclement weather. If you prefer Sellers not remove their shoes in your home – shoe booties are available via Amazon online or at your local hardware store.
- Protect your valuables! Lock up or remove guns, jewelry, money, and medicine. It is impossible for a Seller or Buyer Agent to watch multiple Buyers at every moment they are in the home.
- Depersonalize the home. The most expeditious way for a Buyer to imagine themselves living in the home is to depersonalize the home. Remove personal pictures and religious paraphernalia.
- First impressions are lasting impressions. Make sure the front of the home is well maintained, all landscaping is well manicured, front porch and back yard is cleared of clutter. If you are hosting the open house- park elsewhere so the Buyer has a clear view of the front of your home.
- Neutralize the scent of the home. Open the windows to freshen the air when the air temperature permits, especially after cooking aromatic foods (example fish and strong spices) or if there are pets. (Tip—A quick way to neutralize the smell or remove stains from carpeting or rugs is to implement the baking soda remedy. Opening the windows will assist with humidity after a shower as well. Another trick is to pick a welcoming fragrant spray, spritz the furnace filter a couple times and then run the fan for a few minutes to enable the fragrance to waft throughout the home. If you choose to utilize this strategy, select a fragrance that is not overwhelming. Some Sellers have chosen an oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookie fragrance and then left a plate of store-bought cookies on the counter with small bottles of water to welcome potential Buyers, while others have preferred a hazelnut coffee scent or seasonal scented fragrance. Set the ceiling fans on low (lights on) to improve airflow throughout the home and provide additional lighting as needed for ambiance.
- Empty ALL trash cans and hide dirty laundry. Some Sellers bag up their dirty laundry and put it in their car during showings.
- Open the blinds and draperies as natural light makes each room appear more open and inviting. Some Sellers play background music such as soft jazz for showings to create additional ambiance.
- Clean the bathrooms. Your personal toiletry items should be stored out of site and toilet seats should be down. The bathroom should feel luxurious with clean towels, neutral art, clean bathtubs, floors, mirrors, shower, sink, toilet and vanities. Opening the shower curtain will make the bathroom appear spacious and inviting.
- Kitchens and living areas create comfort! A welcoming and spacious kitchen is crucial when selling a home. After all you are seeking the highest and best price possible, and the Buyer must believe the home is ideally suited to their needs! Clear off the counters, clean the cabinets, pantry, refrigerator, and sink. Displaying a basket of fresh fruit is a lovely touch. In lieu of preparing fresh baked cookies you can create a low maintenance center piece with a glass vase partially filled with hazelnut coffee beans and dried flowers. The coffee beans offer an inviting fragrance and you simply need to give the vase a little shake before showings to freshen the smell! The living areas should be clean, organized and depersonalized.
- Make the beds and declutter the closets. The ideal closet will appear half empty and well organized, showing ample room for additional belongings.
- If a Seller is unable to temporarily relocate pets for showings, it is important to secure all pets prior to showings and ensure everyone is aware of their presence. Keep in mind that not all Buyers are pet enthusiasts, therefore it is best to put all pet products away and neutralize any odors.
- Place a small stack of index cards on the counter with a lovely note asking the Buyer to graciously leave an anonymous opinion of the home. If the Buyer is not interested in presenting and offer, respectfully request their thoughts to improve the marketability of the home. Buyers are often willing to offer an honest opinion to help one another when offered anonymity.
- Selling your home on your own without the assistance of a full service Real Estate Brokerage will require both commitment and due diligence for which you may be rewarded by saving thousands of dollars in commissions. Maximizing marketing exposure is key. I have been in this industry for 4 decades, have SOLD well over a BILLION DOLLARS in Real Estate & Saved Sellers Millions of Dollars in Real Estate commissions. Please contact our team to learn how the For Sale By Owner Flat Fee MLS Listing Options at Ohio Broker Direct will enhance your marketing exposure to ensure a more expeditious sale, yielding a higher price with better terms that suit your specific needs. Reach out to us directly, visit our blog page or sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest information to ensure you have the knowledge to maximize your profit!
Joan Elflein, Broker / Ohio Broker Direct
Ohio Broker Direct & its Brokers or Associates assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in this blog, we advise all participants engaged in the buying or selling of Real Estate to enlist the services of a Real Estate Attorney.